The New Year is a great time to start good habits. Here are some tips from Co+op (www.strongertogether.coop) about eating well on a budget.
Make a realistic budget
- Track your purchases to get a baseline measurement.
- Set a goal to meet your needs.
- Try setting aside a cash allowance for your grocery purchases.
- Check out the USDA’s food plans and other resources at www.cnpp.usda.gov
Change your patterns at home
- Wash and prep veggies and fruits to encourage usage.
- Use a fridge message board to note perishable items.
- Cook staples in large batches for “planned-overs.”
- Eat together as a household to reduce use of convince foods.
Plan before you shop
- Donate expired or undesired food items from you kitchen.
- Take a cupboard inventory before planning meals and shopping.
- Plan meals around perishables.
- Keep a running grocery list (consider using a template with only necessary items listed- just check items off as you run out).
- Remember to pack your grocery bags, bulk jars, and egg cartons.
- Look for sales on items already on your list.
- Be flexible- adapt recipes for the season.
- Focus on whole, unrefined, and bulk foods.
Reevaluate your methods
- Try any plan you make for two months before adjusting as needed.
- Keep tracking your spending!
Other things to consider
- Ask your entire household to get on board with the budget.
- Consider starting a garden to produce some of your own food.
- Consider reducing the amount of money you spend eating out.